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Henry Browne, Farmer

Published 1942

Daily life of a patriotic African American farmer in Georgia during World War II.

Run time 10:40
Producer U.S. Department of Agriculture
Sponsor U.S. Department of Agriculture
Audio/Visual Sd, B&W


"A simple and moving story of Henry Browne, a Negro farmer, and his family -- what they are doing individually and collectively to win the war. Farmer Browne, rooted in the soil, goes about the daily tasks of farming so important in wartime. He plants fifteen acres of peanuts so that we will have more vegetable oils, needed so urgently today. He conserves his land and takes care of his equipment. He greases his farm tools to prevent rust, saves his burlap bags.
"Henry Browne's family, too, do their jobs. Mrs. Browne has a Victory garden, Young Henry milks the cow, sister has a flock of chickens, and the eldest son is serving with the 99th Pursuit Squadron of the Army Air Forces. The film ends with the family's visiting the Tuskegee air field." Indiana
"The racial problem is deftly handled." Collaborator (comments from EFG 1945)

¥ 2:07:77- 2:24:82
A little boy (African-American) in overalls milks a cow in a pen. A calf walks over and begins nursing the cow. The boy gets up and walks out of the frame.

¥ 3:02:53- 3:24:57
Henry Browne saddles his mules and begins walking by his peanut field with the two mules.

¥ 4:29:31- 4:51:80
The little girl tends to the chickens. We view the nice chicken pinÑthere are many chickens wandering about and others in a large, wooden cage. She feeds the ones walking freely and then those in the cage (chicks-?). Cut to image of her mother walking out to the fields with a hoe. The girl runs after her holding her own hoe.

¥ 4:52:65- 5:19:97
Nice view of the field with Henry Browne and his mules plowing in the distance. The mother and daughter come into the frame. Cut to a closer shot of the boy working the fields. The girl and her mother come into the foreground of the frame.

¥ 5:59:26- 6:18:63
Nice pan of the intricate rows of a peanut field.

¥ 7:30:80- 7:48:70
Series of shots of the Browne family going through town (Macon, Georgia) in a horse drawn carriage. First image shows them coming onto Main Street where there are stores, cars, and several white people standing on one side of the street (one woman crosses the street). As they round a corner we see a group of African-American men sitting on the curb. Cut to a view of the Brownes coming towards the camera on a different part of Main StreetÑwe see the "Macon" movie theater. Cut to them on a different road in townÑthey pass a church and several parked cars.

¥ 8:38:94- 8:48:55
Nice image of the Browne Family walking with an African-American air force pilotÑthey walk along an air force base (by barracks). An army vehicle passes them as they walk towards the plane yard.



Reviewer: Jilly9 - - January 23, 2012
Subject: 1943 Academy Award
"Best Documentary" nomination.
Reviewer: Spuzz - - July 21, 2003
Subject: Interesting Historical film..
A very interesting historical artifact, perhaps made to be shown in Negro movie houses during the time, which is a variation of what seemed to be the war film's favorite subject, eg, productivity and industry. Farmer Browne is like any typical farmer, 2 kids, a large farm, chickens, except he is black. What is great about this film that nowhere in the film this is mentioned (which probably hammered down where this film was distributed to), Of course Farmer brown is producing for 2 reasons, for his family and for the soldiers in the air. Hardly propagandistic, this film breezes along.
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